My deep love for and connection to nature started in my mother’s garden before I was even able to walk. As I grew older I didn’t see myself as an outdoorsy person. The “typical” outdoor narrative of natural athletes conquering mountains didn’t represent the connection to the outdoors I grew up with in my immigrant family.
The fear of not doing it right, particularly because I have never been a natural athlete, kept me from discovering the joys and thrills of an adventurous life. Finally, at 34 years old in the midst of some dramatic life changes, I answered an inextricable pull to hike the Appalachian Trail. I didn’t have any backpacking experience (in fact the fist time I slept in a tent was during my thru hike!) and very little hiking experience. With each step on the AT, I became more experienced, stronger and came to realize that there is no right or one way to enjoy the outdoors (or even adventure).
So, what started as a six-month trek turned into a life-changing passion to not just find adventure, peace, spirituality, health and connection to my family and ancestors in the outdoors, but to share my outdoor stories, mistakes and all, as a way to challenge and change the narrative of who belongs in the outdoors and how we connect with nature.